5 Easy Ways to Avoid Excessive Weight Gain During Pregnancy

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5 Easy Ways to Avoid Excessive Weight Gain

If you are reading this post, you are a lot like me.  You know weight gain during pregnancy is important in order to nourish the precious little girl or boy thriving inside you.  However, you want to avoid excessive pregnancy weight gain.  Gaining too much weight increases your chances of having high blood pressure, diabetes, premature labor and more.


So, How Much Pregnancy Weight Gain is Healthy?

The amount of weight you gain during pregnancy depends on how much you weigh at the beginning of your pregnancy.  It also depends on the number of babies growing inside you.  I created two charts for your reference.  You may want to bookmark this post and revisit it throughout your pregnancy.


So, How Much Pregnancy Weight Gain is Healthy?

In short, if you are underweight at the beginning of being pregnant with one baby, then strive to stay between a pregnancy weight gain of 28-40 pounds.  If you are at a normal weight at the beginning of your pregnancy, then strive to stay between 25-35 pounds. If you are overweight, then try to stay between a pregnancy weight gain of 15-25 pounds. And, if you are obese at the beginning of your pregnancy journey, then try to stay between a pregnancy weight gain of 11-20 pounds.

Now, if you are underweight at the beginning of being pregnant with two babies, then strive to stay between a pregnancy weight gain of 50-62 pounds.  If you are at a normal weight at the beginning of your pregnancy, then strive to stay between 37-54 pounds.  If you are overweight, then try to stay between a pregnancy weight gain of 31-50 pounds. And, if you are obese at the beginning of your pregnancy journey, then try to stay between a pregnancy weight gain of 25-42 pounds.

Now you know how much you’re supposed to gain.  But, what are the six tips to avoid too much pregnancy weight gain?

The Number One Way to Void Gaining Excessive Weight is to 1. Know When Enough is Enough

Think of the following scenario the next time you think about the number of extra calories you should eat during pregnancy.   Imagine, you are a waitress.  A loving father is seating with his adorable, petite, four-year daughter who is wearing her best princess dress.  When you approach the table to take their order, the little princess cheerfully says in the sweetest voice, “hi, dinner for two, please!”  You are touched and chat a bit about this priceless father-daughter date.  When it is time to take their order; you recommend the most popular item from the kid’s menu.  Why the kid’s menu?  You do not have to be a registered dietitian to know the dainty four-year girl will not eat a lot of calories. Thus, dad and daughter happily thank you for your menu suggestion.  Well, the baby growing inside you is much… smaller than the petite four-year-old little girl.  With this in mind, eating about 200-300 extra calories a day (mostly during the third trimester) is enough to nourish your little one inside you

2. Be Like a Salt Water Fish

All living things need water.  Water helps the body to function properly and to be healthy.  Did you know that dehydration can lead to pre-term labor?  Thus, you should drink water when you are pregnant, regardless if you prefer the taste of water or not.  Also, you should drink plenty of water for the overall health of you and your precious little baby.  As your body and baby changes during pregnancy, the amount of water your body and baby needs will change.  Try to drink half of your body weight in ounces and this is the minimum on the days you exercise while pregnant.  Drinking the proper amount of water for your body and baby will lessen your desire to overeat and reduce swelling and bloating. And, yes, drinking the proper amount of water will keep you from gaining excessive weight.  

3. Follow my “10-20-30 Prenatal Fit Plan”

It has been well-established that exercise has been clinically proven to benefit pregnant women and their growing babies.  You may know from my previous post, I really like prenatal yoga that you can practice at home.  In case you want to know the benefits of prenatal yoga and how it may help you, then read this blog post.

Now, if yoga is not your thing, no worries!  As long as you are cleared to exercise by your primary care provider my “10-20-30 Prenatal Fit plan” can work for you.

How it works:  If you are not physically active, try walking for 10 minutes a day, 4-5 days a week.  The following week, walk 20 minutes a day, 4-5 days a week.  And, then try to walk 30 minutes, 4-5 days a week. If you are already physically active while pregnant, but looking for a fitness routine suitable for your growing body, then try “my 10, 20, 30 Prenatal Fit plan” (with a faster progression).  For example, instead of walking for 10 minutes a week, you may walk for 10 minutes for two days, then 20 minutes for two days, and 30 minutes or more thereafter.

Exercise can decrease stress and muscle tension and prepare your body for faster labor and recovery. The earlier a pregnant mom begins an exercise routine- the better.  Surprisingly to some, a low-intensity exercise like walking and stretching can alleviate many of the common pregnancy ailments- even in the first trimester. Exercise will certainly help you avoid extra pregnancy weight gain.   

Exercise can decrease stress and muscle tension and prepare your body for faster labor and recovery. The earlier a pregnant mom begins an exercise routine- the better.  Surprisingly to some, a low-intensity exercise like walking and stretching can alleviate many of the common pregnancy ailments- even in the first trimester. Exercise will certainly help you avoid extra pregnancy weight gain.   

IMPORTANT: ALWAYS, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! Your body is telling you something is wrong during exercise if you experience, vaginal bleeding, chest pain, dizziness, weakness, swelling or a headache. Get medical approval before doing ANY form of exercise during pregnancy.

Did you know a lack of sleep can make you gain weight?

Yes, you are supposed to gain weight during pregnancy.  However, we do not want to gain extra weight because too much weight gain over your recommended BMI can carry negative consequences for you and baby.  Our bodies go through enough hormonal changes by helping to grow another amazing human.  A lack of sleep increases the “hunger hormone” called ghrelin.

One study found that people who sleep between 3.5 and 5.5 hours a night consume nearly 385 more calories the next day when compared to those who sleep between 7 and 10 hours.  You may say, 385 more calories is not bad.  However, those in the study were not pregnant and they did not have pregnancy cravings nor pregnancy hunger.

So, if you lack your beauty sleep during pregnancy, do you think you will ONLY eat 385 more calories?  Unlikely, especially considering your pregnancy cravings.

Pregnancy can already be a high-risk situation.  There is no need to push the envelope, so to speak, with excessive weight gain. Bottom line, find a way to get comfortable so you can get your beauty sleep- you beautiful pregnant queen.

Get Your Beauty Sleep

Did you know a lack of sleep can make you gain weight?

Yes, you are supposed to gain weight during pregnancy.  However, we do not want to gain extra weight because too much weight gain over your recommended BMI can carry negative consequences for you and baby.  Our bodies go through enough hormonal changes by helping to grow another amazing human.  A lack of sleep increases the “hunger hormone” called ghrelin.

One study found that people who sleep between 3.5 and 5.5 hours a night consume nearly 385 more calories the next day when compared to those who sleep between 7 and 10 hours.  You may say, 385 more calories is not bad.  However, those in the study were not pregnant and they did not have pregnancy cravings nor pregnancy hunger.

So, if you lack your beauty sleep during pregnancy, do you think you will ONLY eat 385 more calories?  Unlikely, especially considering your pregnancy cravings.

Pregnancy can already be a high-risk situation.  There is no need to push the envelope, so to speak, with excessive weight gain. Bottom line, find a way to get comfortable so you can get your beauty sleep- you beautiful pregnant queen.

Read the labels

Don’t you get excited when you get a package in the mail? 

I think it is AWESOME to get a package in the mail that gives you one less thing to do.  Thank goodness more and more companies deliver all kinds of items, thus making our lives easier.  I am always on the lookout for companies that value organic, fresh, and clean meal delivery.  Pinterest will always have a special place in my heart to find “super-yummy” recipes. But, you still have to make a trip to the store if we do not have all of the ingredients to make the Pinterest recipe- BOO…!

In order to help manage your weight during pregnancy, consider ordering from a meal delivery food service.  There are many to select from, but try to use one that specializes in delivering fresh, organic, Whole Food ingredients that come with easy to follow recipes using those ingredients.

 

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